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Help - Windows Mails works fine, but Internet Explorer can't

Toshiba Laptop running Vista deluxe Home edition, internet via DSL.

A friend has a weird problem that started about two weeks ago. He can sign on to Windows Mail and use it just fine, but cannot get Explorer to surf the net. For any URL, it comes back with a could-not-access-the-internet message and suggests the network connection is faulty. Windows Update fails also (of course it uses Explorer).

I loaded Firefox, and get the same situation. I set up a dial-up connection and get the same situation with either Explorer or Firefox.

Bell thinks the DSL modem has gone bad, and is replacing it, but the symptoms don't seem right for that.

Any suggestions? Could it be some kind of virus? AV program shows OK, but you never know.

Thanks for any ideeas.....Perry B

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Before others jump in with their ideas

try this.

Check whether IE has been set to use a "Proxy server". IE > Tools > Internet options, then the Connection tab. Click Settings or LAN Settings, and see if it has been configured for Proxy. If so, return it to "Automatically detect settings".


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Help - Windows Mails works fine, but Internet Explorer can't

Thanks ... I will check, however keep in mind ...

1. The problem has just suddenly appeared, and nothing was modified knowingly by the owner. On the other hand, automatic Windows updates have caused serious problems for me in the past.

2. The problem manifests with IE and Firefox, DSL and dial-up. Four different configurations, same issue.

So I am convinced something has gone wrong within Vista

Perry B

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May be a firewall issue?

That would be worth looking into.

I don't know DSL at all but if WLM works, then I would not have thought DSL was an issue.

In case it is a malware issue, try, (or ask him to try), to download, install, update and perform a full scan with Malwarebytes' Antimalware;

Viruses are one thing, but malware covers other threats as well as viruses.

One final try if nothing else helps, System Restore to a time back when it worked.


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1.) Windows Update, starting with Vista, does not actually use Internet Explorer due to a decoupling of IE from the OS as well as concerns regarding IE faults causing WU malfunctions.

2.) Since dial-up also fails, it's not a DSL issue.

3.) Since it affects Firefox as well, it's not a proxy issue.

4.) Since it affects web browsers but not WLM, it's likely a TCP/IP issue.

Thus, I'd start by entering the following lines, one at a time, at the command line:
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
netsh winsock reset

With a little luck, performing the Winsock reset will resolve the issue.


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Thank you very much, John ... I will try and hope this works.

Perry B

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Well, I tried

I could not release the stack. I got several messages:

"No operation can be performed on Local Area Connection while it has its media disconnected"
"An address has not been associated with the network endpoint."
"Adapter Loopback Pseudo-interface 1 is not enabled for DHCP"

Any idea what this means?

This is very puzzling ... I though the ethernet adapter might be bad, except we get through to Windows Mail and Update just fine, as noted.

Thanks for any ideas

Perry B

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Quick checks...

1.) In your original post, you mentioned that Bell was replacing the modem. Did they eventually deliver the replacement?

2.) Check Device Manager within Windows to ensure that the networking adapter is listed and that there are no errors (yellow caution icons) present.

3.) Just to rule out a hardware issue (modem, cable, and/or networking adapter), try booting to an Ubuntu LiveCD (free Linux distro that runs entirely from CD) and see if the internet works properly. Note that no configuration should be necessary; just burn the CD, boot to it, select your language, and launch Firefox, which is preinstalled.

Let us know.

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Yes, the modem was replaced ...

... and the connection became more stable. However, the problem continues.
Device Manager shows the Newtork Adapter with four "Microsoft ISATAP Adaper #xxx"s, all with yellow warning tags. Yet double-clicking any of them says the device is working correctly and the driver is up to date. Micro$soft's Network Diagnostic that comes up when IE fails also says the network connection is OK. Windows Updates, MS Mail, all work fine. It's just any attempt to browse that hits a wall.

Could this be a virus of some kind? Thanks for your interest.

Perry B

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I was browsing a thread in Microsoft's technical fora that described a similar problem, only with Windows 7. They didn't have a solution, but a phrase jumped out at me - "Norton 360". Sure enough, my friend's computer had an expired copy of Norton 360 on it. I removed Norton 360 and voila! problem solved.

Removal was no easy task. The uninstall program in the Norton package didn't work. Uninstall via Control Panel didn't work. So I downloaded the Norton Removal tool from the Norton website, and this killed most of the application. Then I followed the excellent instructions found at "" and removed a few more entries from the registry. Mission accomplished.

Now I wouldn't want to say the the folks at Norton include a logic bomb in your system which goes off if you don't renew. But "Norton" often seems to turn up when weird problems are discussed, so perhaps they should at least be included in a list of potential malware.

Thanks for all your help

Perry B

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Ahh, so often.

So often a cause for problems, but this was one I hadn't heard of.

Congratulations on finding the problem and solving it.


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